There are so many things that can cause you and your loved one stress as your loved one ages. If you have the ability to have open and honest conversations with each other about how you are feeling, and if you are able to seek advice or assistance from an outside source, such as a therapist or counselor, you should be able to get through stressful periods together. Here is some great advice for managing stress as your loved one ages.

Find a Quiet Time and Place to Talk

When you are ready to have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about stress, it’s important to find the right time and place to talk. Whether you want to discuss your own stress, or you can sense that your loved one has been stressed out and you are wondering why, you should choose a calm, inviting environment to have a talk. You will both feel that it is easier to open up if you are sitting somewhere quiet, comfortable, and neutral. Try to avoid having the discussion around other family or friends, or in a public place. Choose an area that is comfortable for you both, and has few distractions. It is also useful to try to use feeling words when you speak to each other, rather than language that might sound accusatory or make the other person feel defensive. You might consider starting the conversation by saying something like, “I’ve sensed that you might be feeling some added stress lately. Is now a good time to talk about that?”

Seek Assistance From a Counselor or Therapist

If you feel it will be helpful in diffusing tension or giving you and your loved one a good place to start, you can always seek professional assistance from a counselor or therapist. You can even ask your worship leader, pastor, preacher, rector, reverend, or rabbi, if they provide counseling services to members. An outside, neutral party can help you and your loved one navigate tricky, emotional terrain together. It may help your loved one open up if they don’t feel like it’s you versus them, but instead just a way for both of you to be heard and understood.

Find Activities You Can Enjoy Together

If you aren’t sure how to start a conversation with your loved one about stress, or you don’t think you’re ready to discuss it, you can try to relieve stress by finding activities you can both enjoy together. Try to get outside and take a walk, visit a local zoo or garden, try a new café or restaurant, or take a class together. This will give you a chance to bond and spend quality time together, as well as relieving stress. It may even give you a perfect opportunity to find a natural way to bring up the way you’ve been feeling.

At Arizona Homestead, our goal is to “raise the standard of excellence in all aspects of assisted living care.” All of our caregivers are certified in supervisory, personal, and directed care and can provide quality of life management, medication management, safe work practices, and memory care. We also provide specialized care for residents diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or stroke. To learn more about how we can help you and your family with assisted care, call us at (520) 245-7881 or contact us online.

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